Doubting

Have you ever got to that stage when you are starting a new project but you aren’t sure if it is good enough to continue?

I have a couple of unfinished novels packed away somewhere but this is a different feeling. I think it needs to stew in my imagination for a while until I have enough to start writing. When your work is character driven, as mine is, you need to be really certain about your characters before you put them into a situation. Then they usually behave consistently and the story makes sense. I need to flesh out the personalities and backgrounds of the people in my next book before I concentrate on the plot.

Meanwhile we have a Craft Fair on Sunday where I am taking a few of my most popular novels, “Never Run Away” and “Never Pretend,” as well as the latest two, just in case there are some local readers who would be willing to purchase them. I think there will be a number of second hand books for sale so I don’t hold out much hope.

The more I read the less confidence I have in my own work. For one thing, most books I enjoy are twice as long as the ones I write. What is it, I wonder, that makes it possible to keep a plot going that long? If it is, as I suspect, a deeper understanding of what the characters are thinking and feeling, then I have to introduce that. If it is a broadening of the plot to include more related events, I need to try that. It gives me something to aim at and I’ll let you know if any of it works!bookwormclipart

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Writing in the first person

A book I am reading at present uses the multiple first person. Each mini chapter is from a different point of view, but it is specified who at the start.

After writing five books in the third person I tried something similar and, knowing that a book written from a single viewpoint has to be really gripping or the reader starts to wonder about the other characters I also chose to use multiple viewpoints. This book was “A Lesson for the Teacher.”

This means one has to switch from person to person and make certain each individual has a clear and distinct ‘voice,’ attitude, set of opinions, including getting into the head of both male and female characters.

I think the most emotionally satisfying books are written from a single point of view – as long as the reader can identify with the protagonist but I have gone back to writing in the third person in  “A Bend in the Lane” as there are too many folk in the story to use any other method.bookwormclipart

Fewer mistakes.

Reading the newspaper this morning I found another sentence where the reporter used ‘less’ instead of ‘fewer.’ I do believe the word is going out of fashion. Nobody cares whether the word refers to quantity or plural- it’s ‘less people, less days, less readers – when it should be fewer. ‘Less’ should only be used when there is less sugar, less sunshine, less importance.

Is this the fault of English teachers? Do they still say, ‘Let the child be creative and don’t worry about spelling or grammar?’ I just feel anyone who is in the business of using words to convey information should be able to do it correctly.

Old fogey?bookwormclipart

Breaking the writing ‘rules.’

Hooray, my blog is back where I can see it. I guess I was too impatient, or my computer didn’t send it properly.

Anyway, more marketing news. I have updated Goodreads and am about to have a go on Amazon Author Central.

I became aware , recently, that i had broken a few writing rules when I wrote ‘A bend in the Lane.’ I think it’s because I have been writing plays and there one can switch from character to character, whereas in books one is advised to stay with one point of view, at least for a chapter.

I found that when my main character was not present I wrote from another point of view, even if it was only for a short ‘scene.’ I didn’t notice while I was writing. It just seemed normal. I suppose that’s why people say my books are like reading a ‘soap.’

I’ll use my bookworm image so folk know this is a writing blog.

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Editing

AAAAH! That will teach me. I thought the proof of my book was ready for printing but NO WAY. After three goes at editing it myself, one beta reader and two more proof readings I thought I’d got it right. It isn’t enough!

My problem is my poor typing skills. I may have found all the spelling errors but I still don’t leave spaces in the right place, especially when I put dialogue within the text, rather than starting a new line.

‘Good morning,’ he said.’I hope you are well?’ should be – ‘Good morning,’ he said. ‘I hope you are well?’ It doesn’t show in this font but it does in more old fashioned ones. That’s a whole book I’ve got to change! My fault for trying to get up to date.

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Image hunting

Finding images for book covers is getting more complicated. I keep seeing the ones I want but they are either in landscape format, which won’t work for a book cover or they are houses for sale and I don’t know if I have permission to use them!

I have saved some on Google and will try to find a way to collect and save them without having to make a purchase, but I need to show them to other people so I need to be able to send them.

I’m going to try to find one  now and see if it will go on here. Am I allowed, I wonder?

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Proof reading

I know, ‘Never Proof Read Your Own Work!’ but when the manuscript has an error on almost every page one has to. Most of my mistakes are spacing errors because of my lazy typing but there are places where I should have used contractions, especially in dialogue and there are times when I have called someone by the wrong name ( unforgivable!)

Anyway, the first draft of the next novel is complete so I’m transferring all the corrections from the manuscript to the computer.

I still haven’t found a cover picture I like, although there are a few possibles.

All planning now in hand for the Southern Book Show on March 4th. All previous books will be for sale but mainly’ A Lesson for the Teacher’ as it has a wider appeal than just Worthing. All I need is lots of readers who remember the 1960’s!